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“Really Nice” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gran Club Santa Lucia

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Gran Club Santa Lucia
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ave. Turistica Tararaco | Playa Santa Lucia, Playa Santa Lucia 74250, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Alberta, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Really Nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2009

We enjoyed our stay at Gran Club. We had a suite which was very spacious and comfortable. The food was really good at this hotel, very good variety considering it was low season. I was able to use curling iron etc... in the bathroom as it was equipped for both 110 and 220; no problem there. Could charge batteries for my camera, cell phone.
Staff were friendly, no problems there either. Nothing but good to say about the staff at this hotel. Pool area is beautiful and big with lots of shaded areas which came in handy considering it was about a thousand degrees! :) The beach had a great breeze so it was a comfy place to cool off a bit and the water was perfect this time of the year. There was a lot of wind but not "sand in your face" wind. It was a great week. I can't think of anything negative to say. Room location was far enough away from the stage that we had peace and quiet when not attending the shows. We had a room at Brisas in the spring that was too close to the stage and interrupted early nights to bed.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (213)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, Ontario
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2009

A one week trip between July 8-15.

Flying from Toronto, the flight was good and went smoothly from the time we checked our baggage in at the airport to the time we landed in Cuba. There was a quick stop over in Veradero picking up/dropping off other passengers. The air conditioned bus ride from the Airport to the Hotel is approximately 90 minutes. It was alright, you get to see more of the country and/or sleep.

Checking in and out was very quick and efficient.

The weather was perfect, rained, maybe 5 minutes for the week. We were there the middle of quiet season, very relaxed time. Mainly local Cuban guests or a charter from Montreal. Approximately 150 guests total. We were definitely in the minority, in only speaking English and were pleasantly surprised when ever we came across other guests that did speak English. Every one who works at the Gran Club speaks English to some extent.

Our Room was great. A stand alone bungalow/beach house(room 101) at the end of the beach at the far end of the club. A security booth just outside on the beach. Lots of room and the air conditioning always felt amazing coming in from the heat. The only issue with the room was the sliding back door. It was very heavy, didn’t slide very well and the lock was broken. We told reception on the first day we were there. 2 days later the receptionist checked with me to see if it was fixed yet. It wasn’t. So she made a call. When we got back to the room the handle/lock had been removed from the inside. But the door could still be opened and would not lock. It still wasn’t fixed by the time we left and likely is still not.

The beach was very nice with enough seat selection and shade if wanted or needed. There is still a lot of seaweed in the beach shores from the hurricane. Fairly shallow waters for quite a distance out from the shore. We were approached a few times by locals wanting to sell stuff or asking for things like money, food or clothes. Usually a “No, gracias” would be enough. Beach Security Guards did little to stop this minor annoyance. Though, there is more security around the club than is visible as we witnessed when they needed reinforcements in escorting a drunk guy from the pool. There were 2 uniformed security and 3 in civilian clothes.

The bartender’s were great and took care of us once we got to know them. Mainly Gauchy, Jose and Jose Louis provided exceptional service at the bar. The swim up bar is a must in any vacation I go on now. The rest of the staff was very friendly. The Entertainment Staff made everyone feel welcome and got everyone involved with activities through out the club. Huge thanks to Crazy Horse, Mike, Pluto, Annia and Froggy.

We never had to search for open chairs on the beach or by the pool. There were always activities and games (ring toss, darts, water polo, Spanish lessons and other little competitions) on the beach in the morning and around the pool in the afternoon. The winner of the games usually gets thrown in the pool and a bottle of rum.

The Club was clean and well kept. The maids and the gardeners were always working. The beach and poolside were clean for the most part, with the exception of some cigarette butts on the beach and empty cups around the pool from time to time. Those are from the guests not cleaning up after themselves rather than the cleaning staff.

There are sports activities like water aerobics, catamarans, kayaks and paddle boats, beach volleyball, beach games, tennis, water polo and soccer available. The basketball hoops have not been replaced since the big storm and the gym is pretty bare bones. A few dumb bells, some machines. Did not use the gym because of this.

Did go diving with the Shark’s Friends Dive Center which is located in between the Gran Club and Brisas Hotel. It was 30 CUC’s a person for one dive (1$ CDN = 1.18 CUC’s Approx. at the time) Everyone at the shop was friendly with the exception of our Dive Master, think his name was Lazaro. We had a good group of divers, half were dive Masters themselves and very experienced and a few less experienced divers like myself and my girlfriend (around 10 dives each). We needed a little more assistance with making sure our equipment was set up properly and we weren’t forgetting anything since it had been a year or so since the last dive. We also noticed that in the room where you select your own air tank that many tanks that were missing O rings. Any time we approached Lazaro, he was visibly be irritated and stormed off without even helping or fixing the issue. It would have taken 2 minutes to check over everything and we would have felt safer and confident. It seemed to be too much of an effort for him to take the time. He treated us as annoyances rather than paying customers. We finally get into the water and there was an issue with the buoyancy regulator leaking, again we went to Lazaro and he scolded us like children that we should have checked before we got into the water, after we had already asked him 3 times previously on land when he had ignored us. The dive itself was alright, the visibility was not that good, but it felt good to be diving again. After our experience with Lazaro, we decided not to dive again that vacation, which is unfortunate because some of the other divers did go again and said the visibility was much better and it has a lot of great sites in the area. We also heard that Lazaro had received a lot of other complaints as well.

The food was adequate, not a lot of selection. The specialty restaurants (Cuban and Italian, no extra cost, just need to reserve ahead of time due to limited space) were great, especially compared to the main restaurant’s food. The waitstaff were attentive and prompt. The grill on the beach wasn’t good. There were never french fries and always a lineup at the grill with not enough food cooking to accommodate the people there. The quality of the food was poor as well. They had handmade burgers and when they ran out, they used frozen. Neither were good. You also have to be fairly aggressive to get your food, manners of the other guests were non existant. If there is any space between you and the grill, they will not hesitate to step in front of you and take your order.

The shows were OK, involving a live band and a lot of crowd participation/dancing. There is also a game before the main show for the kids, run by one of the entertainment staff called Froggy. It was painful when he did his high pitch kids voices over the microphone so we tried to avoid the start of the shows from then on. The kids seemed to enjoy the games though.

There is a nightclub in the Gran Club, it is only open Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Other guests went to night clubs at the other nearby hotels for 5 CUC cover for all you can drink. I never made it to any of the discos being too tired from the activities of the day.

There is internet access, though you need cards to use the computers. They didn’t have any the whole time I was there. I really didn’t need it and you go on vacation to get away from that stuff so I wasn’t really disappointed.

I would definitely go back to the Gran Club, especially for the deal we got.

Before going we were unsure of the tipping practices in Cuba. This is what we learned since there really wasn’t any standard or information before we went. DO NOT bring American money. There is an 18% tax on exchanging American money there. Exchange your Canadian money to the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) at the airport, the rate there is the same or better than at the resort. It is difficult for the locals to exchange Canadian bills, and they can’t do anything with our coins. Basically, tip dependant on the service you receive. For the guy that brought our bags to the room we gave him a pack of razors. He kind of looked at us weird, but we didn’t know any better. So I would suggest a gift and $1 CUC. For the maids it’s recommended about one CUC a day and a small gift that you would buy at the dollar store like toiletries, lotions, razors, etc. Bartenders are usually tipped cash. We tipped $5 each the first day and dependant on service or who took care of us the most, $3 about every 2-3 days. For security, gardeners and random others that work at the club money is always a safe bet, as well as gifts like clothes, toiletries, shoes and hats. For the entertainment staff, the preference is mainly sports clothing, active wear, athletic shoes and baseball hats. Another safe gift for anyone working there is to bring lots of kids stuff like toys, colouring books and crayons, clothes and anything a kid would like

There is also a 25 CUC fee to leave Cuba.

The flight home with Sunwing was a nightmare. We ended up having a 10 hour delay in the Cuban Airport. There had been a problem with the refuelling mechanism on the plane. The local mechanic fixed it, but Sunwing(Canadian office in Toronto) wouldn’t sign/approve the paperwork for the repair. All the passengers sat on the plane for 3 hours “waiting for paperwork” so that we could fly home before they would tell us what was happening. At the 3 hour mark, we had to evacuate the plane because the Sunwing Crew could not work anymore. So Sunwing had to now fly a private jet from Toronto with a new crew and a mechanic to us in the Cuban airport. We left the Gran club about 9am, rode on the bus for about 90 minutes and then waited about 10 hours in the airport. We finally got back on the plane and flew home about 10:30pm. Our only compensation was a can of pop and a snack. I understand the safety issue part, but just be honest and tell us what is going on. Apparently the problem with the refuelling mechanism was a loose screw.

Definitely not the way I wanted to spend my last day in Cuba. Aside from the flight home fiasco, I would definitely return to the Gran Club.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby Ontario
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2009

My Daughter recently got married at the beautiful Gran Club. What a fantabulous place to have a wedding. It was Simple but Elegant. We had the ceremony, reception, violinist, photographer, videographer, music, dinner, decorations, flowers, cake, dancing, and so much more. While my Daughter's requirements were few, her expectations were very high. In addition, many logistical things had to happen (prior to and after the wedding) - paperwork, transportation, etc.

When we first started this memorable venture, I thought it was going to be a 5-month nightmare of planning and executing things that I had no experience in. As it turned out, it was smooth and painless, and I never lost any sleep. Thanks to Santiago and his talented and devoted Staff, they were able to plan, monitor and execute everything from 2,474 km away. We had the best Wedding Planner and Public Relations Team (Yurina and Edmundo). We can't thank them enough. There were many other people who put in a lot of time and energy to make this a success, and we sincerely thank them as well. There were many things that we never even thought of that were automatically taken care of. The part that I was most intrigued with, was their ability to suggest alternate ways of doing things, without making me feel silly/awkward. A unique skill to possess - very classy.

Santiago, I want you to know that I appreciate your professionalism and remarkable management ability to be able to run such a marvellous Resort. It is "second to none". Your Staff is the best and it was our pleasure to have her Wedding at the Gran Club. You exceeded our expectations in all areas. Hasta que nos veamon nuevamente, I wish you continued success.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2009

A beautiful place with wonderful people. The kids wanted to stay longer, they just loved every thing. Very clean comfortable rooms, good food (not gourmet but good), beautiful clean pool, all day entertainment for kids as well as adults who want to play, dance,... wonderful beach and the staff is just so helpful, polite, funny and always smiling. We would go back any time. The entertainment team is great, they work so hard to make you enjoy your stay, they are wonderful, I don't want to name them because I'm sure I'll forget some. It is a great place for families, our kids are 13, 10 and 9 years old.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2009

the hotel is good.i stayed in sunwing section near the disco,and it didnt bother me.Beach was very nice,but too windy. weather..wind, rain didnt help ..freak of nature i guess.There are weeds.but are tolerable.Get a horse and buggy to see the flamingos..15$ camaguay too far for me to visit.The activities are good..especially the water polo and volleyball.no probs with the hookers...few and far between,if any.Rooms and service very goodand clean.get courtacy room if flight is late.free
no one got things stolen.night shows were ok..but some dragged on forever.food was good!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
quebec
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2009

I've been all around the world,and santa-lucia is the best trip a guy can't get for the bucks...don't expect a 5 or 6 star,but it's clean ,good service and the food is good.for
the price we pay ,it's good to go eat a lobster whit a cuban family(15$).it"s my third
visit all around (500$can each time),.like BOB BARKER WOULD SAY=THE PRICI IS RIGHT....

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st. catharines
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2009

After the long bus ride(take gravol if you have motion sickness), you are greeted by a nice looking resort. While waiting in line they greet you with a fruit drink. Check in was a breeze. We took advantage of letting the bellman take us to our room (326), We tipped him $5 canadian. The rooms are simple but clean. Everyday the room was clean to perfection. Leave a little something for the maids, they work so hard to make sure everything is done right. The next morning we had to go to the sunwing rep. Our friends room was clean but smelled musty ( due to being on the ground level). The rep had the staff go back to the room within the hour to re clean the entire room. We could see the room from the pool and they were in there for over an hour. When they left the room was great. All the staff where ever you go at the resort is very attentive to your needs. Once you get the hang of ordering your drinks ( usually the ones that are posted they make without problems) they are abundant. The food was ok, none of us went hungry. The fries at the beach bar were good and fresh. The entertainment was exceptional. They keep you active if you want from 10am at the beach then move to the pool area and keep you active there as well until 6. The show starts at 9 every nite and runs till 11. If you don't like loud and don't want to go to the show as for a room away from the pool area.
The entertainment staff speaks english as well as french and some speak other lanquages as well. We only took advantage of the catamaran trip but I heard the others were just as good. Just take this thought with you. You are on vacation, whatever happens good and bad, roll with the punches have a drink and relax, you will have a great time.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gran Club Santa Lucia

Address: Ave. Turistica Tararaco | Playa Santa Lucia, Playa Santa Lucia 74250, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Camaguey Province > Playa Santa Lucia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Playa Santa Lucia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Gran Club Santa Lucia 3*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This All Inclusive Hotel is located right on Santa Lucia Beach, Camaguey Province, Cuba, just a few feet from the coral reef. Its well kept tropical gardens, professional and friendly staff, make this resort the perfect vacation choice for families, couples and honeymooners. Accommodation 252 air conditioned rooms: 12 coral suites, 8 Superior Junior Suites, 86 Junior Suites y 2 Junior Suites with special facilities for guests with disabilities and 144 Standard Rooms. Every room has private bath, mini - fridge, telephone, satellite TV, hair dryer, 110V & 220V. Each Junior suite has a living room and balcony or terrace. Included Services For food and beverage services there is a Buffet Restaurant, specialized in international cuisine; three "A la Carte" restaurants specialized in Cuban, Italian and Seafood cuisine. There are 5 bars: Lobby bar, beach bar, pool bar, coffee bar and a discotheque. A Snack bar is available. The hotel has a swimming pool with separate area for children; day and night entertainment with shows and live music; Mini club with varied daily and night activities for children from 4 to 12 years old. Dance lessons, Spanish lessons, table games, billiard, ping pong, bicycles, non motorized water sports and tennis courts. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gran Club Santa Lucia Hotel Playa Santa Lucia
Gran Hotel Camaguey
Gran Hotel Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia Camaguey
Gran Club Santa Lucia Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba - Camaguey Province

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